Murmu’s nomination a strong signal of solidarity with STs: Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, June 24

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday said the nomination of Droupadi Murmu, the first-ever tribal leader, for the post of President would signal empowerment to India's marginalised, and is truly historic.

Thakur was in New Delhi along with the CMs of all NDA-ruled states to participate in the nomination filing process of NDA's presidential nominee Murmu. Himachal MLAs and MPs signed one of the four sets of nomination papers on the occasion.

Speaking to The Tribune after the conclusion of the process, Thakur said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing NDA leaders and CMs this morning, described the day as "unique and historic and one that will be remembered in the annals of Indian history for a long time to come."

Thakur said Murmu, in her remarks, said she was sitting at home, relaxed and unaware of the PM's decision to nominate her to run for the President's office.

"Droupadi ji told us she did not know how to react when she first heard the news. She said she had no inkling of the decision about the presidential nomination just as she was pleasantly surprised when previously named the first woman Governor of Jharkhand," Thakur told The Tribune, quoting Murmu.

He said Himachal and Haryana MLAs together signed the third set of papers for Murmu, while the other three were signed by the PM, BJP chief JP Nadda and Gujarat MPs and MLAs.

Both Himachal and Gujarat go to elections later this year.

Asked if the decision would benefit the BJP in Himachal, Thakur said, "Although this decision should not be seen from a political prism since the office of the President is above partisan issues, the fact is the nomination of a tribal woman will send a strong message of government's solidarity with the STs and to that extent, there of course is political signalling, which is very positive."

Thakur also hailed Murmu for calling opposition leaders Congress President Sonia Gandhi, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar for support today saying, "By calling up senior Opposition leaders, she showed grace. She is a candidate and it is her right to seek support of all members of the electoral college. It would have been better had the Opposition backed the election of India's first tribal presidential nominee unanimously but in a democracy, they have the right to contest."

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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